Turning on the Faucet
I’ll admit. I’m new to writing fiction. I’m new to the process of writing. So, I have no idea if the way I write is normal for the average author, but for me writing is like turning a faucet. When I find time to put fingers to keyboard, the words come tumbling out so quickly I often don’t even remember what I’ve written! I didn’t really think about it while writing Regression, but during the composition of Evolussion I kept track of my productivity and averaged 1000 words per hour when I had to verify information, and closer to 1500 if I was simply writing off of the top of my head.
I would love to be able to write full-time, to see if the well supplying the faucet could actually run dry or if the words would continue to drip from my fingertips. The plots for fourteen other stories are swishing around in my head, and I’ve begun jot notes for them all. Perhaps they'll be realized in the future, but it's a matter of finding the time to work on them.
My writing process involves composing right onto the computer. I usually know the name of the novel before I begin drafting it, and also know the ending. I begin with the end in mind. I suppose that is a result of having that concept drilled into me in teacher’s college – know where you are going to go with your lessons before you start them, and you’ll be sure to arrive where you want to be. If you start with no plan, the end result might be a surprise. That’s not to say surprises in literature are bad, even if they are in education. But, I tend to be a very analytical, organized person and thus my story is planned out before it even begins to take form on (electronic) paper.
I’ve been thrilled with the response to Regression, and now, Evolussion. The first book was a bit of a bucket-list endeavour…don’t we all want to write a book before we die? I just happened to find time to do so while on my most recent maternity leave. The maternity leave before that, I built my dream home on my dream farm. I suppose I’m at my most productive while being motherly! Now that I do not plan on having any more children – four’s enough – I’m having to find other ways to steal time to turn on the literary faucet. Thankfully, my long-suffering husband has been wonderfully supportive of what is close to becoming a habit. He now knows that if I’m up late at night at the keyboard, I’m not having an online affair but rather writing a book. That's a tale for another post ;)
I never told him I was writing Regression, nor anyone else for that matter, because I was embarrassed to admit it. Like I said, don’t we all want to write a book? What if I didn’t finish it? What if it was awful? So, I never told a soul about the story I was composing until my mother accompanied me on a trip to a dog show. I tentatively extended to her the nearly finished manuscript, hoping she would not laugh too hard at the reading of it. She was thrilled and excited to be a part of it. That was my first step toward publication. The journey was certainly interesting, and the culmination of making the Amazon Science Fiction and Fantasy bestseller’s list for 28 days was utterly exhilarating. Just knowing that thousands of people have read and (hopefully) enjoyed the story, and have gone on to purchase the next instalment, is delightful. I can only hope that my productive fingers continue to do their job to produce interesting stories that people like to read.
About the author ~
Her first novel, Regression, peaked at number seventeen on the Amazon Science Fiction and Fantasy bestseller list as a new release, and remained on the charts for twenty-eight days.
Find out more about Kathy and her Infinion Series at Infinion Series at The Northern Sanctum.
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Email Kathy @ kathybell @ northernsanctum DOT com
Her latest book ~
Fourteen-year-old Adya Jordan swears that before her head injury she was a forty-year-old mother of six. Is she going crazy, or did she really live through an entirely different life? 1985 is nothing like she remembers, although her first day of high school certainly is! A typical girl with atypical genes, Adya tries to recapture her old life, hiding her growing conviction that she has done this before. Memories of the man she loved and a family she adored haunt her, even though her future husband doesn't even know she exists. Accidentally discovering the secretive Three Eleven Corporation might know more about her situation than she does, she is convinced the twenty-eight men heading up the company are responsible for the changes in her world. Adya finds her way into their ranks, journeying to the tropical island headquarters to begin an orientation into their prestigious internship program. The Three Eleven Company controls the development and distribution of Twenty-first Century technology brought with them from the future. Charged with the task of preparing the world for an impending disaster, each member of the team uses his scientific background to create a solution for a problem the planet does not know it is facing. They don't have time to deal with a feisty young girl poking around. Banished to the frozen Canadian Shield for asking too many questions of CEO Abraham Fairfield, Adya finds the men in the underground city of Sanctum are interested in more than just her genes as they search for the answer to her presence in the timeline. In the end, Adya encounters a choice no mother should ever face: save her children...or everyone else.
Read an excerpt ~
“Serina, don’t interrupt me. It’s a sign of respect to attend the Remembrance Day activities at the cenotaph. People sacrificed their lives to allow us to be there today.”
Suitably chastised, the child changed the subject. “So if grandma’s turning sixty today how old was she when she had you?”
“I’m forty, you do the math.”
Will, fifteen, spoke up, “She was nineteen, then. That’s really young, isn’t it?”
“Not back then. People used to have kids a lot younger than they do now. I had your brother when I was twenty-four.”
“Is that when you decided to stay home with us?”
“Sort of. I did research part time on my Master’s Degree, so I was still in school.” Adya glanced at her oldest daughter and smiled. “You guys were too cute to leave.”
“Do you miss it, working?”
“I didn’t give up working, just chose a different way of doing it. I think I would have stayed in school anyway and the experience of having you kids actually inspired quite a bit of my research. My thesis about older siblings setting the precedent for younger ones−”
Luke rolled his eyes as only a seven-year-old could, “Mom, you’re doing it again.”
She pulled the minivan into a gas station flying flags at half mast. “What?”
“Talking big…use language we understand, not your shrink words.”
With an exasperated sigh she replied “Sorry, Luke. Anyway, you were my lab rats.” Serina snorted in laughter and Luke began to squeak like a rat. Two year old Jessica squealed in feigned terror. The gas attendant approached the vehicle as Adya lowered the window.
“How’s the family today, Doctor Davies?”
“They’re just wonderful, John. How are your little granddaughters?”
“Couldn’t be better, and they’d love to come visit again any time you want to study them. They thought it was a real hoot.” He peeked into the van. “Sounds like you have a zoo in there. What’s with all the animals?” The children laughed even harder while making new, louder animal sounds.
“I told the kids they were my lab rats, just like your girls were. Could you fill it up, please?”
“Yes, ma’am.” John quickly topped up the tank.
“You know, I hope you don’t close up this station, there aren’t many full serve places left.” She grinned as she passed him the payment.
“I don’t know…my son doesn’t really want to take over the place. But, folks like you keep coming, I’ll keep pumping.” The old man limped back to his little booth. She drove on through a residential neighbourhood, to pull into the driveway of her mother’s house. The children piled out the sliding doors while their mother unbuckled the infant. Grandmother Samantha approached from the front porch where she had been waiting, grey hair in a long braid down her back. She stopped to toss a fallen branch from the driveway before reaching the van.
“Happy birthday, Mom.”
“Thanks, honey. I saw you at the service, but didn’t see Daniel. Is he joining us?”
“Yes, he got caught up with something at the university so won’t be here till later. Where’s Dad?”
“Out back in his shop, putting the finishing touches on Hope’s chest.” She peered into the van. “You don’t have room to take it with you today.”
Adya shuffled bags inside the vehicle before looking helplessly at her mother. “Shoot. I forgot the diaper bag and your gifts. Do you mind if I drive back to pick them up? I’ll take Hope, is it okay if I leave the others here?”
“These monkeys? I don’t know… but, I do have a new game for them to play inside. C’mon guys, come see grandma’s new video game.” The children rushed into the house as their mother slipped back into the driver’s seat. Adya reversed out of the laneway and turned the corner. The ring-shaped birthmark on her right hand began to throb, distracting her as she rubbed at it.
Her head snapped up as tires screeched on her left. A large sport utility vehicle seemed to approach her minivan in slow motion – she watched in mute horror as the side panel folded beneath the onslaught of the larger vehicle. A rainbow glitter accompanied the groan of bending metal as the windows fractured and refracted the headlights of an oncoming car. The world spun to the right, her stomach lurched, and a piercing pain lanced through her hand as she screamed before all went black.
* * *
“Hope!” Adya struggled to rise in the hospital bed while fighting the restraints of the entangling linens. Tears rushed to her eyes as she again cried her daughter’s name. Frantically she pressed the call button. The cord pulled from the wall as she tumbled to the floor, sheets wrapped around her legs. Nurses rushed through the door. From her knees, she wailed, “My baby… how is my baby? Please God; let my baby be okay…please let me know where she is.”
The nurses attempted to restrain and reassure, murmuring platitudes she did not quite hear. “You need to return to your bed. You should sit down. We’ll get things straightened out for you.”
Her heart pounded and her breath came in short pants as she escaped the confining sheets, stumbling into the hall. An older nurse firmly held her arm to guide her back to her room. No patience for anything but answers, she screeched, “I need to see my baby, where is she?” She struck out, flailing with all her might until a needle in her arm finally subdued her with darkness.
* * *
Beeping roused her. A regular, low tone sounded every second, punctuated occasionally by a higher pitched double tone. The whirring of a ventilation system and the drone of fluorescent lights nagged at her, bringing her to the edge of consciousness. Muted voices were drowned by the wail of a very young child, the sound of which finally brought recognition. She was in a hospital room. Three people were conversing at the bedside as she cracked open her eyes.
“She was hysterical, insisting she needed to see her child. We had to sedate her to get her back into the room. I don’t think she has a child, her mother never mentioned one.” The nurse’s voice sounded familiar, an echo in her head predating the panic.
“She’s likely delusional from the head injury. We need to work through the delusion without allowing her to become too agitated.” This voice familiar too.
She opened her eyes. “I’m not delusional; I just need to see my daughter.” One of the speakers approached the bed as she propped herself up on her elbows. Closing her eyes again against the dizziness, she regained equilibrium and reopened them. The man standing in front of her towered over the bed, she had to crane her neck to see him. He spoke softly, with gentle concern.
“Hello there, I’m Doctor Redborne. Nurse Skinner tells me you gave them a bit of a scare. I need to ask you some questions, alright?” At her nod he continued. “What’s your name?”
“Adya Davies. Where’s my daughter?”
The doctor frowned. “When were you born?”
“April 28, 1971. Why won’t anyone tell me if Hope’s okay?”
“What’s the last date you remember?”
“November 11, 2011…”
His frown deepened and he wrote a quick note on the chart in his hand. “How old are you?”
“Forty. I want to see my husband and children. Can you at least let me see them?”
The physician rested his hand on her shoulder, his face still clouded. “I need to check your vitals, make sure you can tolerate visitors. Can you remain calm while I do that?” She inclined her head, closing her eyes against another wave of pain. The doctor raised the head of the bed and flashed a light directly into her pupils. As she began to get restless, he addressed her. “Adya, you were involved in a serious car accident and suffered a head injury. You’ve been in a coma for seven days. This is the first time you’ve been conscious during that time.”
She looked toward the nurse for confirmation. The nurse nodded encouragement and agreement. Her gaze returned to the doctor, still confused. “What about Hope? Is she okay? Where’s my husband?”
“The brain is a mysterious organ. We’re never quite sure how it will respond to trauma. During your coma you may have experienced a dream which seems like reality to you. The current year is 1985 and you are a single young lady of fourteen−”
She interrupted him. “That doesn’t make any sense. You’re telling me I’m only fourteen?” Seeing stars with a vigorous head shake, she persisted, “What is this, some kind of joke?”
“I realize this might be very difficult for you, you need to−”
“I can see it all so clearly, though, all the little details, everything about them. I have children, a husband, a home…and you say this was all my imagination? There’s just no way.” Standing up, she was ready to run from the room to find the truth. A flash of movement caught her eye, the mirror where her reflection moved in the glass. The familiar laugh lines around her eyes were missing although the clear blue colour was unchanged. No parenthesis lines at the corners of her mouth echoed decades of smiles. Not the face of a forty year old. She slumped down on the bed while the doctor continued.
“Today is Saturday, July 27, 1985. You’re in Stamford General Hospital. Your mother’s in the cafeteria on the bottom floor having lunch and should return shortly.” The doctor gently laid a hand on her shoulder as he spoke. “You are indeed only fourteen and have your whole life ahead of you to have those children, the husband, the house, and everything else you could ever imagine.”
Adya looked solemnly into his eyes. “I’m fourteen.” He nodded. “It’s 1985.” The doctor agreed again. “I guess I get to relive the eighties again. Perhaps this time the music will be better.” He laughed with her, his relief evident, and then jotted more notes on her chart. “Will I have to stay here much longer?”
“We need to run some tests and keep you under observation for a little bit. You had a serious concussion. But, if things look normal you’ll be out within the week. I’ll look in on you again later in the evening. You should try to rest.” With a reassuring smile on his angular face, he left the room.
The nurse added her own notes after lowering the bed, and departed as well. Adya closed her eyes and visualized the life she had been living. The faces of her husband and children were clear in her mind, especially the children. The slightly chubby cheeks of her eldest daughter. The wiry hair of Tyler as a toddler when he snuggled beside her in the morning. Hope’s blue, blue eyes.
Stomach churning, she sat up again. Swinging her legs over the side of the bed, dizziness returned, prevented her from standing. Panic slid up her spine and her panting breaths ruffled the front of the hospital gown as she tucked her chin to her knees to fight the rising vertigo. Bare feet stuck out from under the edge of her gown and she focused her concentration on her toes to fight down the queasiness. Looking more closely at her feet, her eyes widened.
“The scar’s gone.” At seventeen a bicycle accident had left a large scar across the top of her foot. Riding on the handlebars of her boyfriend’s bike when he lost control speeding down the hill toward his house, she had spilled onto the pavement and abraded the top layer of skin off her left foot and forearm. Slowly elevating the arm, she inspected the intact skin. Twisting and turning foot and arm, she gazed at the smooth flesh, running her fingers where the scars should be. She shook her head again, “No. No…they can’t just make twenty-six years disappear.” Her feet were steady as she slid to the floor.
Cautiously, she checked the hallway from the door. No nurses within view. The elevators were across the way and the nurses’ station out of sight around the corner. She slipped over to the elevator, pressing the down button before hurrying back to her room. At the ping of the indicator, she rushed through the open doors, holding the ‘close door’ button down with a white-knuckled finger. The portal whooshed shut, and Adya paced the confines of the car while it glided downward.
With a quick glance through the doors, she darted toward the front entrance.
“Hey.” An older lady yelled as she pushed past her. The front desk attendant rose, concern written across her face.
“Wait, young lady. Hold on.” The authoritative voice did little to slow her flight. She made it through the entrance and stopped short, her gaze locked on the hospital sign. A rushing sound built in her ears and the corners of her vision blackened.
Visit Kathy on the rest of her tour ~
Book Reviewed at Booksie’s Blog
Wednesday, October 20
Book Reviewed at Allison’s Attic
Thursday, October 21
Book Reviewed at Crazy Cat Lady’s Library
Friday, October 22
Book Reviewed at Diva’s Bookcase
Monday, October 25
Book Reviewed at Tina’s Book Reviews
Tuesday, October 26
Book Reviewed at Life with 5 Monkies
Friday, October 29
Book Reviewed at Books and Needlepoint
Monday, November 1
Book Reviewed at Libby’s Library News
Tuesday, November 2
Book Reviewed at Psychotic State
Wednesday, November 3
Book Reviewed at Teresa’s Reading Corner
Thursday, November 4
Guest Blogging at Teresa’s Reading Corner
Friday, November 5
Guest Blogging at Thoughts in Progress
Monday, November 8
Book Reviewed at BookBound
Tuesday, November 9
Book Reviewed at Rundpinne
Wednesday, November 10
Book Reviewed at Beck’s Book Picks
Thursday, November 11
Book Reviewed at Libby’s Library News
Interviewed at Beck’s Book Picks